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San Bartolo Pelon Verde

Agave Spirits
Santa Maria Quiegolani, Oaxaca

The exceptional San Bartolo brand was conceived of by Daniel Martinez and his grandfather legendary mezcalero Valentin Martinez Lopez. Don Valentin has been making mezcal in the little village of San Bartolo Yautepec for more than 50 years and his connections with mezcaleros in this hard to get to corner of Oaxaca are deep. Their closest allies are in the neighboring village Santa Maria Quiegolani. Here Maestro Enrique Diaz Cruz has been making mezcal for most of his nearly 70 years on earth. The village is located at 7,000 feet, deep into the Sierra Sur about 1.5 hours south of San Bartolo Yaupatec.

Like Don Valentin, Enrique Cruz practices artisanal production using traditional underground ovens, horse-drawn tahona press, wooden fermenters with native yeasts, and small copper pot stills. The style in the Southern regions offers a slightly less mesquite-forward character than some of the villages in Tlacolula to the north. Gorgeous vibrant agave fruit and earthy minerality are the welcome hallmarks of a high quality espadin. Few products match San Bartolo in terms of quality for the dollar.

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The Producer

For more than 50 years Valentin Martinez Lopez, a 4th generation mezcalero residing in the remote village of San Bartolo Yautepec, Sierra Sur, Oaxaca, has produced mezcal using artisanal practices. He is one of less than 20 mezcaleros who has received the award, Tesoro Cultural del Mezcal (Cultural Treasure of Mezcal) from the Mezcal Consejo Regulador (CRM) which certifies mezcal production. San Bartolo Mezcal is a dream come true for Martinez and his grandson Daniel, who sought to represent their village and values by creating this sustainable mezcal. San Bartolo village sits 875 meters above sea level, with hot winds from the north and most rainfall in summer and autumn. The landscape includes tress of oak, prickly pear, mahogany, kapok, pine, and guanacaste with many citrus with avocado, guava, soursop, sapodilla, pitaya, cocoanut, pomegranate, mamey, sapodilla, tamarind, banana and plum. The first San Bartolo release is a maguey Espadin grown to maturity and hand harvested, then cooked in a six-ton earthen pit with black oak for days. After cooking the agave are mashed with a horse drawn tahona and fermented in pine vats for up to seven days with native natural yeasts and their local spring water, then distilled twice in a 300L wood fired copper alembic still. Click here for photos and keep an eye out for more to come.

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